NIA chargesheets Aseemanand in Mecca Masjid blast

Hyderabad: A charge sheet was on Monday filed against right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand by the NIA for his alleged role in the conspiracy behind the 2007 Mecca Masjid blasts that left nine people dead.

59-year-old Nabakumar Sarkar aka Swami Aseemanand, who is also an accused in the Samhjauta Express bomb blast case, was arrested from Haridwar on November 19, 2010 where he was found hiding with fictitious name Swami Omkaranand.

The National Investigation Agency in its supplementary charge sheet in the Mecca Masjid case filed before the Special NIA court has accused him of murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy among other sections of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Explosive Substances Act, official sources said.

The Mecca Masjid blasts in which nine persons were killed and 58 injured in 2007 were initially probed by Hussaini Alam Police Station and later the CBI which filed charge sheet against accused Devender Gupta and Lokesh Sharma — both are in judicial custody.

Aseemanand, who is now in Ambala jail, had in his confessional statement recorded by a magistrate in Delhi on December 12, 2010 had said that he and several other Sangh activists had a direct role in a number of blasts, including those at Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer dargah and Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad.

The government handed over three cases to the NIA — Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Sharif and Malegaon — in which the cadres of Abhinav Bharat are alleged to be involved.

The NIA Act empowers the Centre to unilaterally hand over any terror case to the agency and does not require the state government`s consent.

The decision to hand over the cases to the NIA was taken following concerns by security agencies that the suspects could use differences in the multiple probe at the trial stage to dilute the cases.